a hand reaching in and depressing the plunger on a fresh press to filter the cold brew coffee

easy french press cold brew coffee

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French press cold brew coffee really isn’t the recipe I had planned to share today, but we’re still social distancing and our grocery routine is totally thrown off, so here we are. (BTW: check out my 25 emergency pantry recipes here!)

I’m not usually a coffee drinker and caffeine makes me jittery more often than not, but things have been stressful lately! And with Jimmy working from home now too I’ve needed the extra kick in the morning to get my day going.

Easy French press cold brew to the rescue!

a hand reaching in and depressing the plunger on a fresh press to filter the cold brew coffee

I first started making cold brew this way after seeing Smitten Kitchen’s version, in which you mix ground coffee with water, let it sit overnight, and then strain it (twice) through a coffee filter in the morning.

I didn’t have a coffee filter, but I did have a French press. It worked beautifully — and there’s no need to mess with soggy coffee filters, either.

cold brew being poured from a french press into a glass

Cold brewed coffee is less acidic than its hot brewed counterpart, and I like that it gives you a little more control over the amount of caffeine because it’s a concentrate.

If you want less caffeine, dilute it more. More caffeine, dilute it less.

Oh, and, just because it’s called cold brew doesn’t mean you have to drink it cold. Cold simply refers to the brewing process. To make a hot cold brew coffee, simply mix the concentrate with a hot liquid to serve.

A glass of cold brew coffee concentrate in a glass filled with ice. A stream of milk is being poured into it, creating white swirls throughout the coffee.

french press cold brew notes:

  • If you aren’t able to control the size of your coffee grounds or you have finely ground coffee, drape a coffee filter over the mouth of the French press before you depress the filter to keep the smaller grinds from sneaking through.
  • This process creates a cold brew concentrate. To drink it, you’ll mix it in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio with another liquid — milk, water, or even hot cocoa. Sometimes I even add the hot cocoa mix right into the french press with the coffee grounds.

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a glass of iced coffee filled three-quarters full. in front is a shallow bowl with whole roasted coffee beans. in the background is a french press with coffee in it.

easy french press cold brew coffee

The Practical Kitchen
You don't need a fancy contraption to make cold brew coffee concentrate. All you need is a French press.
From there, you can dilute the intensely caffeinated coffee concentrate by mixing it with the hot or cold beverage of your choosing: milk, water, hot cocoa, etc.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Brew Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine French
Servings 4 cups

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cups coarsely ground coffee beans (can use as much as 1 cup)
  • 4 cups cool water

Instructions

  • Place coffee grounds in the bottom of a French press.
  • Fill the French press halfway with cool water, and stir. This hydrates the coffee grounds so they don't float on the surface of the water. Add the rest of the water up to the top of the French press, leaving enough room for the lid to sit on top with the mesh filter pulled up.
  • Stir the coffee and water again and put the lid on the French press with the plunger pulled all the way up. Place in the refrigerator for 12-15 hours.
  • In the morning, slowly depress the plunger to filter the coffee.
  • Serve in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio with milk, water, chocolate milk, hot cocoa, flavored creamer, or any other flavoring you want.
  • Store any remaining concentrate in jar, bottle, or pitcher in the fridge.

Notes

  • If you aren’t able to control the size of your coffee grounds or you have finely ground coffee, drape a coffee filter over the mouth of the French press before you depress the plunger to keep the smaller grinds from sneaking through.
  • Store in a bottle pitcher, or empty French press (coffee grounds removed) for up to a week in the fridge.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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